[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 7 (Wednesday, January 10, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1233-1234]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [http://www.gpo.gov/]
[FR Doc No: 2018-00283]


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Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings,
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents
appearing in this section.

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Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 7 / Wednesday, January 10, 2018 /
Notices

[[Page 1233]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket Number FSIS-2017-0054]


2018 Rate Changes for the Basetime, Overtime, Holiday, and
Laboratory Services Rates

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing
the 2018 rates it will charge meat and poultry establishments, egg
products plants, and importers and exporters for providing voluntary,
overtime, and holiday inspection and identification, certification, and
laboratory services. The 2018 basetime, overtime, holiday, and
laboratory services rates will be applied on the first FSIS pay period
approximately 30 days after the publication of this notice, which
begins on January 21, 2018.

DATES: FSIS will charge the rates announced in this notice beginning
January 21, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information contact
Michael Toner, Director, Budget Division, Office of Management, FSIS,
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 2159, South Building, 1400
Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-3700; Telephone: (202)
690-8398, Fax: (202) 690-4155.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On April 12, 2011, FSIS published a final rule amending its
regulations to establish formulas for calculating the rates it charges
meat and poultry establishments, egg products plants, and importers and
exporters for providing voluntary, overtime, and holiday inspection and
identification, certification, and laboratory services (76 FR 20220).
    In the final rule, FSIS stated that it would use the formulas to
calculate the annual rates, publish the rates in Federal Register
notices prior to the start of each calendar year, and apply the rates
on the first FSIS pay period at the beginning of the calendar year.
This notice provides the 2018 rates, which will be applied starting on
January 21, 2018.

2018 Rates and Calculations

    The following table lists the 2018 Rates per hour, per employee, by
type of service:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              2018 Rate
                                                             (estimates
                                                             rounded to
                          Service                              reflect
                                                              billable
                                                              quarters)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Basetime..................................................        $57.52
Overtime..................................................         72.24
Holiday...................................................         86.88
Laboratory................................................         73.20
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The regulations state that FSIS will calculate the rates using
formulas that include the Office of Field Operations (OFO) and Office
of International Affairs (OIA) inspection program personnel's previous
fiscal year's regular direct pay and regular hours (9 CFR 391.2, 391.3,
391.4, 590.126, 590.128, 592.510, 592.520, and 592.530). In 2013, an
Agency reorganization eliminated the OIA program office and transferred
all of its inspection program personnel to OFO. Therefore, inspection
program personnel's pay and hours are identified in the calculations as
``OFO inspection program personnel's'' pay and hours.
    FSIS determined the 2018 rates using the following calculations:
    Basetime Rate = The quotient of dividing the Office of Field
Operations (OFO) inspection program personnel's previous fiscal year's
regular direct pay by the previous fiscal year's regular hours, plus
the quotient multiplied by the calendar year's percentage of cost of
living increase, plus the benefits rate, plus the travel and operating
rate, plus the overhead rate, plus the allowance for bad debt rate.
    The calculation for the 2018 basetime rate per hour per program
employee is:

[FY 2017 OFO Regular Direct Pay divided by the previous fiscal year's
Regular Hours ($482,251,621/16,745,333)] = $28.80 + ($28.80 * 1.9%
(calendar year 2018 Cost of Living Increase)) = $29.35 + $10.07
(benefits rate) + $1.51 (travel and operating rate) + $16.61 (overhead
rate) + $0.00 (bad debt allowance rate) = $57.54 (rounded to
$57.52).\1\

    \1\ FSIS can bill basetime, overtime and holiday rates on the
quarter hour. Accordingly, the 2018 overtime and holiday rates were
rounded down so that rates can be equally divided by four--to two
decimal places.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Overtime Rate = The quotient of dividing the Office of Field
Operations (OFO) inspection program personnel's previous fiscal year's
regular direct pay by the previous fiscal year's regular hours, plus
that quotient multiplied by the calendar year's percentage of cost of
living increase, multiplied by 1.5 (for overtime), plus the benefits
rate, plus the travel and operating rate, plus the overhead rate, plus
the allowance for bad debt rate.
    The calculation for the 2018 overtime rate per hour per program
employee is:

[FY 2017 OFO Regular Direct Pay divided by previous fiscal year's
Regular Hours ($482,251,621/16,745,333)] = $28.80 + ($28.80 * 1.9%
(calendar year 2018 Cost of Living Increase)) = $29.35 * 1.5 = $44.03 +
$10.07 (benefits rate) + $1.51 (travel and operating rate) + $16.61
(overhead rate) + $0.00 (bad debt allowance rate) = $72.22 (rounded to
$72.24).\2\

    \2\ Ibid.
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    Holiday Rate = The quotient of dividing the OFO inspection program
personnel's previous fiscal year's regular direct pay by the previous
fiscal year's regular hours, plus that quotient multiplied by the
calendar year's percentage of cost of living increase, multiplied by 2
(for holiday pay), plus the benefits rate, plus the travel and
operating rate, plus the overhead rate, plus the allowance for bad debt
rate.
    The calculation for the 2018 holiday rate per hour per program
employee calculation is:

[FY 2017 OFO Regular Direct Pay divided by Regular Hours ($482,251,621/
16,745,333)] = $28.80 + ($28.80 * 1.9% (calendar year 2018 Cost of
Living Increase)) = $29.35 * 2.0 = $58.70 + $10.07 (benefits rate) +
$1.51 (travel and operating rate) + $16.61 (overhead

[[Page 1234]]

rate) + $0.00 (bad debt allowance rate) = $86.90 (rounded to
$86.88).\3\

    \3\ Ibid.
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    Laboratory Services Rate = The quotient of dividing the Office of
Public Health Science (OPHS) previous fiscal year's regular direct pay
by the OPHS previous fiscal year's regular hours, plus the quotient
multiplied by the calendar year's percentage cost of living increase,
plus the benefits rate, plus the travel and operating rate, plus the
overhead rate, plus the allowance for bad debt rate.
    The calculation for the 2018 laboratory services rate per hour per
program employee is:

[FY 2017 OPHS Regular Direct Pay/OPHS Regular hours ($24,212,593/
548,265)] = $44.16 + ($44.16 * 1.9% (calendar year 2018 Cost of Living
Increase)) = $45.00 + $10.07 (benefits rate) + $1.51 (travel and
operating rate) + $16.61 (overhead rate) + $0.00 (bad debt allowance
rate) = $73.19 (rounded to $73.20).\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Ibid.
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Calculations for the Benefits, Travel and Operating, Overhead, and
Allowance for Bad Debt Rates

    These rates are components of the basetime, overtime, holiday, and
laboratory services rates formulas.
    Benefits Rate: The quotient of dividing the previous fiscal year's
direct benefits costs by the previous fiscal year's total hours
(regular, overtime, and holiday), plus that quotient multiplied by the
calendar year's percentage cost of living increase. Some examples of
direct benefits are health insurance, retirement, life insurance, and
Thrift Savings Plan basic and matching contributions.
    The calculation for the 2018 benefits rate per hour per program
employee is:

[FY 2017 Direct Benefits/(Total Regular hours + Total Overtime hours +
Total Holiday hours) ($196,498,002/19,876,608)] = $9.89 + ($9.89 * 1.9%
(calendar year 2018 Cost of Living Increase) = $10.07.

    Travel and Operating Rate: The quotient of dividing the previous
fiscal year's total direct travel and operating costs by the previous
fiscal year's total hours (regular, overtime, and holiday), plus that
quotient multiplied by the calendar year's percentage of inflation.
    The calculation for the 2018 travel and operating rate per hour per
program employee is:

[FY 2017 Total Direct Travel and Operating Costs/(Total Regular hours +
Total Overtime hours + Total Holiday hours) ($29,685,824/19,876,608)] =
$1.49 + ($1.49 * 1.0% (2018 Inflation) = $1.51.

    Overhead Rate: The quotient of dividing the previous fiscal year's
indirect costs plus the previous fiscal year's information technology
(IT) costs in the Public Health Data Communication Infrastructure
System Fund plus the previous fiscal year's Office of Management
Program cost in the Reimbursable and Voluntary Funds plus the provision
for the operating balance less any Greenbook costs (i.e., costs of USDA
support services prorated to the service component for which fees are
charged) that are not related to food inspection by the previous fiscal
year's total hours (regular, overtime, and holiday) worked across all
funds, plus the quotient multiplied by the calendar year's percentage
of inflation.
    The calculation for the 2018 overhead rate per hour per program
employee is:

[FY 2017 Total Overhead/(Total Regular hours + Total Overtime hours +
Total Holiday hours) or ($326,888,606/19,876,608)] = $16.45 + ($16.45 *
1.0% (2018 Inflation) = $16.45.

    Allowance for Bad Debt Rate = Previous fiscal year's total
allowance for bad debt (for example, debt owed that is not paid in full
by plants and establishments that declare bankruptcy) divided by
previous fiscal year's total hours (regular, overtime, and holiday)
worked.
    The 2018 calculation for bad debt rate per hour per program
employee is:

[FY 2017 Total Bad Debt/(Total Regular hours + Total Overtime hours +
Total Holiday hours) = ($49,980/19,876,608)] = $0.00.

Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy
development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal
Register publication online through the FSIS web page located at:
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.
    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through
the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information
regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register
notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that
could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and
stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS web page. Through the
web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more
diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription
service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food
safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export
information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or
delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password
protect their accounts.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds
of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual
orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status,
income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs,
exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to
discrimination any person in the United States under any program or
activity conducted by the USDA.

How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program
Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your
authorized representative.
    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax,
or email:
    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of
Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410.
    Fax: (202) 690-7442.
    Email: [email protected].
    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for
communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact
USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC, on: January 5, 2018.
Paul Kiecker,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-00283 Filed 1-9-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P